Together

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalms 133:1

It is a blessing many families enjoy. The family members pretty much all get along. There is harmony. A family get-together usually results in lots of laughter and the telling and retelling of stories passed down through the generations.

Before both my parents passed, my family would gather a couple of times each year. My mom’s house was a gathering spot. When all the children, grandchildren, etc would come in, they would be joined by aunts and uncles and friends. The weekend would be spent playing cards and music and telling family stories that got funnier the more they were told. And laughter….lots of laughter. And food…lots of food. We really didn’t realize what we had.

I was lucky. There was unity in my family. That didn’t mean we all agreed with every single thing that happened. Oh no. But in the big scheme of things we had family harmony. Not all families are so blessed.

The verse from Psalms above is dealing with GOD’S family. It is true of the individual family unit but it is also true of His family at large. Today we think of this in terms of the church. Think of that family gathering. It truly is a blessing there if you can live in harmony.

I am a fan of the Andy Griffith reruns. There is an episode with the choir trying to avoid Barney as they practice. The reason? Because he sings horribly out of tune. I always thought Don Knotts had to be a great actor in order to sing so much out of harmony on purpose. Try that sometime, it is not easy.

The “together” in our verse is defined with the idea of a chorus in unison. Think of how beautiful all the parts of harmony sound when the chorus sings together. All the different parts and all the different voices blend together into what seems a single sound!

To dwell together in unity. All blending different personalities and different parts.

The same idea is conveyed in 1 Corinthians 1: 10. Here Paul by Inspiration says, “Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Note the emphasis on togetherness. Four times in the passage Paul encourages unity. He says speak the same thing, be no divisions, and be perfectly joined, same mind and same judgment.

What does that look like? It is members who love one another enough to allow each to be different in matters that don’t matter. Petty disagreements are just that, petty. On matters of eternal consequence there can be no disagreement. But otherwise, remember the church is made up of individuals. Let’s allow them to be individuals yet have the same mind, judgment, etc on the really important matters.

I miss my family gatherings. I miss being in a group where I knew I was accepted and loved unconditionally. I miss the good times we used to have when we gathered. I miss hearing my mom tell the stories that I had heard a thousand times. I want my spiritual family to be like that. It should be. GOD wants it to be. Help me to do my part to make it so.

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